“We think of the surveillance state as a modern development, something conjured up by novels such as Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent or George Orwell’s 1984, or by real-life stories of Stalin’s Soviet Union or Hitler’s Germany. But spying is one of the world’s oldest professions, as the Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Bible attest. Well before the 20th century, many states were doing all they could to monitor their citizens’ activities as closely and comprehensively as possible.
England in particular has a long history of spying on its own people. It is no accident that in Hamlet, Shakespeare portrays the Danish government specializing in espionage and double-dealing. In Act 2, scene 1, the court councilor Polonius teaches a henchman how to spy on Polonius’ own son, Laertes, in Paris, instructing him “by indirections find directions out.” Moving as he did in court circles, Shakespeare was evidently familiar with intelligence operations in Elizabethan England, some of which involved several of his famous contemporaries—certainly Francis Bacon and possibly Christopher Marlowe. Under such spymasters as Lord Burghley and Francis Walsingham, Queen Elizabeth’s court pioneered many of the techniques and practices we associate with international espionage to this day, including code-breaking and the use of double and even triple agents.”
Jack King “A new King of thrillers”: http://www.SpyWriter.com
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Tagged Books, Christopher Marlowe, Elizabeth I, Espionage, Francis Bacon, Hamlet, Joseph Conrad, Literature, Reading, Shakespeare, surveillance, Writers, Writing
“Students may begin their medical school careers riding on a cloud of altruism and goodwill, but it’s not long before the grueling schedule, avalanche of new vocabulary and stubborn patients can take a toll.
To return the student brain to a state of balance, David Watts, MD, UCSF professor of clinical medicine, argues that a healthy dose of literature — poems and stories, specifically — be a core part of the student experience.
It may seem counter-intuitive: Adding more work to an already-loaded academic schedule seems like a recipe for disaster. But in an article titled “Cure for the Common Cold” published last month in The New England Journal of Medicine, Watts says that poems and stories — even just a few a week — can show students the richness of human relationships. In other words, imaginative literature can reignite the compassionate spark that spurred students toward the healing arts in the first place, according to Watts.”
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Tagged Books, Health, Life, Literature, Medicine, People, Reading, Shakespeare, Students, Work, Writing